William “Muecke” Barker

TENNESSEE SUPREME COURT JUSTICE
UT Chattanooga, ’64

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Part of the Tennessee Alumnus100 Distinguished Alumni feature.

William “Muecke” Barker began more than 25 years of service to the Tennessee Judicial System in 1983, when he was appointed circuit court judge for Tennessee’s 11th judicial district. He quickly became recognized as one of the highest-rated judges.

In 1998, Barker was appointed to the Tennessee Supreme Court. He was then elected to a full eight-year term and again in 2006. In 2005, he was unanimously chosen by his colleagues to become chief justice. Upon his retirement from the Supreme Court in September 2008, former chief justice Barker was named Appellate Judge of the Year by the Tennessee Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates.

Throughout his career, Barker has maintained a close relationship with the Chattanooga campus, being named the UT Chattanooga Distinguished Alumnus in 2007. He has served as an adjunct professor of political science and in 2000, he was named the Student Government Association Outstanding Adjunct Professor. In addition, he has lectured on legal ethics across the U.S. and Europe. Barker has also served as a trustee of the University of Chattanooga Foundation.

Following his retirement from the Supreme Court in September 2008, Barker became “of counsel” at Chambliss, Bahner and Stophel, a Chattanoga-based legal firm. “The reason our legal system works is because of men like Muecke Barker, who since his early days as a practitioner was a person in whom people could have confidence,” says Maxfield Bahner. “To do what Muecke Barker has done with his life requires a wife like Cathy, self-discipline, hard work and dedication to the noblest and highest ideals. We’re fortunate this son of Hamilton County gave himself so selflessly as a lawyer and a judge.”